Is the GOP Still Grand

Shared with Permission from: Integrity Intercept Eyes on the Truth

by Victoria Kline


The first time I exercised my right to cast a ballot was after turning eighteen, in 1980 between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. My parents voted Democratic prior to Ronald Reagan. My mother loved John F. Kennedy, and a pattern of good-looking charismatic men stealing her heart showed its colors with Reagan. My father admired Reagan and voted for him. Despite this, he maintained his Democrat status, as unions tend to lean Democratic.

I always voted Republican, until 2012, I felt like I was in a Sophie’s Choice situation between President Obama and Mitt Romney. I was not willing to hold my nose and back Romney, so I bowed out. Yet, it was the 2012 election that forced me to examine the GOP – otherwise known as the “Grand Old Party.”

The Republican Party, which formed in 1854 to oppose slavery expansion into western territories, was called the “grand old party” and the “gallant old party” in the early 1870s. (1)  In 1836, my Great-Great Grandfather (eighth ancestor) William Henry Harrison joined the Whig party. This party boasted noble names like Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, William Seward, and John Quincy Adams. The Whig Party was a strong advocate for policies such as internal improvements, a protective tariff, and federal aid to education. William Henry Harrison was a strong advocate for the Whig agenda, and he went on to become the ninth President of the United States.  “The Whigs were the opposition party, taking their name from the British political party of the same name that opposed the king. Though many Whigs were against slavery, they tried to be a “big tent party” to keep members from defecting to smaller parties, such as the Free-Soil Party or the Know-Nothing Party.” (2) We see this coming back with the No Names Party. (3)

The GOP In its fledgling early years, drew from a remarkable incident that formed in opposition to slavery. The three initials GOP, according to Safire’s Political Dictionary reveals that the Republican acronym began to appear in print in 1884. A Cincinnati Gazette typesetter, coining the initials after receiving a story about 1884 Republican presidential nominee James Blaine shortly before press time submitting it was too long, “Dowden asked his supervisor about space reading the phrase Grand Old Party and told to “Abbreviate ’em, use initials, do anything, but hurry up!”  the line “Achievements of the Grand Old Party” to “Achievements of the GOP.” (4) And the initialism stuck.

We move now to the GRAND part of what formed the GOP. Around the time of the Civil War the slave population was about four million. When I read this number, I was shocked. (5) The Whigs organized not necessarily FOR something but AGAINST President Jackson. “The Whigs were strongly opposed to Jackson’s “Trail of Tears” Indigenous peoples removal plan forcing the relocation of southern tribes to federally owned lands west of the Mississippi River.” According to some historians the Whigs, “were generally opposed to rapid westward territorial expansion as embodied in the doctrine of “manifest destiny.” In an 1843 a letter to a fellow Kentuckian, Whig leader Henry Clay stated, “It is much more important that we unite, harmonize, and improve what we have than attempt to acquire more”… While its founders opposed the policies of President Andrew Jackson, when it came to other matters, it was too often a case of Whig vs. Whig. (6).

The Democrats wished the states to keep slavery, considering that the slave owner’s investment as usurped, and historians say, “One of the rationales that some Democrats had for slavery was that blacks were unable to take care of themselves, so slavery was actually good for them.” In time, ”White Southern Democrats switched parties from Democrat to Republican, and most black Americans have switched parties from Republican to Democrat. However, the white Southern Democrats who switched to Republican did so as they also became increasingly less racist. The Republican Party has never championed slavery or Jim Crow laws; the Democratic Party did.”(7) Today’s Democrat ideology believes that the government should be responsible for providing resources to those in need and that individuals should have access to these services regardless of their income or background. It is the belief that everyone is entitled to the same rights and opportunities, regardless of their circumstances.” This is not how the Democrats of the 1800’s addressed these issues.

While in the 1800’s the newly formed GOP wanted slavery abolished everywhere, the Whig party folded or rather died (although it has been revived since 2007 as a middle-ground party for moderate Democrats and Republicans). To the Whigs, slavery was morally wrong and technically violated the Constitutional Republic’s principles of a just government, for everyone. Each group wanted their issue represented, however the Democrats felt strong about slavery, and it was obvious to the forming GOP that it did not represent what was fundamentally moral.  Although, they did not want to carry this moral “clarity” into letting the Black man vote. As expressed even in Lincoln’s speech in 1854, “What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially, our equals? My own feeling will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not.”  Therefore, the deeper issue was how much slavery can we keep while still sounding morally sound before God and man? It is like being a “little” pregnant. Nevertheless, Lincoln did come around to the idea of giving the vote to the Black Man by 1865. (8)

I enjoy reading Willaim J. Federer, and his wonderful pieces in American Minute whose easy read on these issues ignited this piece. The Republican Party, while opposing slavery, has also been criticized for not doing enough to support African Americans and other minority groups. They have been accused of not doing enough to combat racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination. This has caused a lot of tension between the two parties and brought into question the commitment to freedom and equality.

The slave trade and influx of slaves is what brought the issue of slavery to the forefront. The states wrangling back and forth about these issues tried to settle the dispute with the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850. “Slavery was opposed by [most or specific]  Christians, most notably Quakers and Methodists, as well as Second Great Awakening preachers.” (9) The Awakening aided by “circuit riders” in which ministers on horseback went to the rural areas to bring the message of the Gospel. England had come to terms with their own conscious on slavery by way of John Newton, William Wilberforce, and John Wesley, 1773.

Christianity was eventually divided over the issue, with some members advocating for abolition and others continuing to support slavery. Ultimately, it was through the efforts of numerous abolitionists that slavery was eventually abolished.

In 1850 the U.S. Congress beefed up the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act. This allowed for the capture and return of runaway enslaved people to the United States. The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was passed under the last Whig President Millard Fillmore. In 1856, he ran on a ticket called The Know Nothing Party for President. Fillmore himself grew up in extreme poverty. His own family allowed him to work as a “virtual” slave as an apprentice to a cloth dresser. He worked his way up in the political world in the Whig Party! He ran in 1848 against a slave owning Whig named Zachary Taylor. Fillmore ran on being an anti-slavery Northerner. As debate about slavery and new states emerged. Taylor changed his mind and voted against slavery; he wanted California admitted as a free state. President Taylor died suddenly July 4, 1850, and Fillmore became President (9) (Please note 140 years later Zachary Taylor’s body was exhumed to settle if he had been poisoned)10. 

Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern interests in slavery and Northern Free-Soilers. The Act signed into law by President Millard Fillmore on September 18, 1850, had severe penalties.  

•          Giving food or shelter to a slave was a federal crime.

•          Interfering in a slave catchers’ recovery of runaway slaves was a crime.

•          A person could be criminally liable, fined $1,000 dollars and imprisoned for six months if they failed to report their neighbor for helping a slave.

•          Some States defied this by writing “personal liberty laws” thus nullifying the Federal laws.

•          Other states insisted upon jury trials for an alleged fugitive before being taken by federal authorities.

•          Some juries refused to convict, and others forbade local law enforcement officials from using the local jails.

Later, in Fillmore’s second run for office as a Know Nothing, he switched to Democrat.

In this moral turmoil of 1854, a slave named Joshua Glover fled like Onesimus from Philemon out of St. Louis Missouri and to Racine, Wisconsin. An acquaintance was paid $100 by slave hunters to open the cabin door at a sawmill where he worked. They rushed him, hit his head with the butt of the gun and clubbed him in the face. The jailer in Milwaukee showed kindness and dressed up his wounds. Over one hundred residents rushed to Milwaukee. They “grabbed lumber and pickaxes from a nearby construction site and broke through the jail wall, freeing Glover. His journey to freedom and Canada made possible by the underground railroad. (11)

This case pushed the state supreme court to defy the government and declare the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional. These citizens meet in Ripon, Wisconsin to form an anti-slavery party, called the Republican Party.

However, “Congress made the situation worse on May 30, 1854. Democrat Senator Stephen A. Douglas pressured Democrat President Franklin Pierce to sign the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which let inhabitants in those territories have the freedom of choice to decide if they wanted to come into the Union as slave states or free states. It prescribed “dividing the land into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, and leaving the question of slavery to be decided by the settlers. Instead of slavery diminishing, as many founding fathers had hoped, now it was expanding.” The result of this rebellious act against slavery and for “freedom!” caused Pro-slavery Democrats to flood Kansas to convert it into a slave state, thus the name, “Bleeding Kansas.”

It was Ohio who held the first “Anti-Slavery” Republican convention in Nebraska on March 22, 1854. Michigan followed with the first state-wide Republican convention July 6, 1854, then followed the “People’s Convention” on July 13, 1854, in Indiana. The first National Republican Convention meet in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1856, encouraging Americans to resist northern Democrat President Franklin Piece and his desire for national supremacy with slave power. President Pierce felt the abolitionist movement would threaten the nation’s unity.

June 18, 1856, the original Republican platform and the first party in history to officially adopt the abolition of slavery in their platform.

Keep in mind slugging it out over slavery was not just Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. In fact, Douglas came in fourth behind John Bell for the Constitutional Union Party. And John Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats had the closest electoral votes to beat Lincoln. (13)

Repeating correct history is a wonderful teacher. Stephen Douglas struggled to keep the Union together while bringing in Mexican territories and struggling with the balance of free and slave states. In addition, he was pro-railroad expansion that the Northerners desired. To address the polarization of the country over slavery, he advocated “popular sovereignty,” like the concept of states’ rights. Why not let those living in the territory considered for statehood vote on how they want to live with slavery? Because European thought oozed into our newly formed country, and the word “people” was ambiguous. Who were the “people?” It was far smaller than today. “Women, Indigenous people, indentured servants, slaves and the young,” did not own property and therefore four million additional slaves forced a look at the equation. Indians and Blacks were not included in the slavery issue, and no one wanted them counted as a whole person, because that would allow them to have more representatives in government (14).

Literally, these golden words abound “We deny the authority of Congress…to give legal existence to slavery. It is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism; Polygamy and Slavery.” (12)

Now, look to the word being bandied about increasingly today, “stakeholder.”  Property in the 1800’s and now remains FIRST with government decisions and ownership of land rights, which normally includes the wealthy. And  SECOND is our own bodily autonomy. This is why “We The People” became an experiment like none other.

Our governing bodies decide a great deal about our lives. We have in America the mechanisms to pick people for these venues to represent us. Yet do we make sure we are picking qualified people?

I want and hope the GOP is consistently faithful to Freedom from all types of slavery. However, land rights will always dominate to a certain level anyone’s presence in a community. Why do you think buying up farmland is such a hot button? Why is any monopoly or abuse of power with regards to land rights always at the forefront?

In hindsight, it parallels hot topic issues today. For example, abortion rights and medical mandates. One argument champions a woman’s right to bodily autonomy, which regardless of party affiliation has also become the Covid immunization stance for countless. However, one would think that bodily autonomy should bring everyone to agreement at the table. On the other hand, there are those who argue that medical mandates are necessary to protect the public’s health. This debate has become especially heated in recent years, with each side making strong arguments and deploying strong rhetoric. In the end, it is up to the individual to decide whether to support one side or the other.

Slavery, abortion, and medical mandates interfere with those administrating “others” or “ourselves” land rights or space.

The Covid mandate brought people to their Constitution like 9/11 helped sell 40% more Bibles in 2001. Immunization/health issues became the basis of grouping for many in society. Regardless of party affiliation people ran from the gray area far quicker than on slavery or abortion rights. Ironically, all came to an agreement because of Roe v. Wade, which sent abortion back to the states, like Stephen Douglas would have desired if alive today. Covid mandates made everyone aware of their “space” and “property.” Which is why the GOP, being the voice for the unborn and presenting Value Them Both, poorly had created the opposite effect for the platform (15).

Normally, land and space were determined by inheritance, monarchies, or totalitarian governments (found also in religious sects). These “rules” affected each of us personally on all levels and everyone should have a right to their own bodily autonomy according to, “We the People.” These “civil rights” were being threatened or denied, but they also create a culture of violence and oppression. It is essential that we work together to create a society that is fair and just for all.

For example, the exaggerated “dominance of Jewish slave trade in the Atlantic and enslavement of Africans. There is a kernel of truth here: a minority of slave traders were Jews.” However, the Bible assumes upon slavery as a fact of life, yet it can be said that “Judaism is intrinsically an abolitionist religion…ancient cultures saw slavery from the owner’s point of view. The Bible tends to see mass slavery …from the slave’s view.”  The Bible stresses the value of free individuals, created in “God’s Image.” (15)

Individual liberty and property rights cannot be sustained on any GRAND scale in the form of monopolies. This includes our government.

This idea of property rights and “abortion” extends into the Bible. Judaism has a very “nuanced view that does not necessarily fit squarely into either side of the debate.” Here are two examples. Genesis 9:6 after the flood Noah and his descendants are forbidden to murder, “One who sheds the blood of man through man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”  The sages say the phrase “through man”  more accurate as “within man.” Thus, killing a fetus is considered a capital offense. However, Exodus 21:22, lays out if two men quarrel and hit a pregnant woman, and she miscarried but there is no fatality, he shall be punished when the woman’s husband makes demands of him, and he shall give [restitution] according to the judges [orders]”. Since money is exchanged for compensation, this is not capital punishment, and the fetus is considered property. (16)

These same issues arise now with immigration. We have people who cross into sovereign territory and our own government gives property rights that increase our taxes, our say in government, our laws are suspended for the foreigner. Their property is vacant and those who own real estate allow them to live off their commercial investments, while we pay the Robber Barons through our own taxes.

This is creating a huge burden on our public services. Our education system, healthcare system, and other public services are being exploited by them, while our own citizens are suffering. Furthermore, this influx of immigrants is leading to an increase in crime, which is detrimental to our society.

The dollar is purposely made untenable. Assisting greedy citizens in thwarting our Constitutional rights housed in the Natural Law by our Creator, making it harder for others to buy property.

We’re enraged over abortion issues, which drives a fear of putting people in government who will literally restrain all freedoms under “government” or “monopoly” rules.

I offer this last example. In May 2021, an article in the Conversation, highlighted studies between Democrat and Republican states and how they fared in Covid. The news organization leans left to moderate with a good record of accuracy in reporting. “Democrats have been more likely to favor stricter policies such as prolonged economic shutdowns, limits on gathering in groups and mask mandates. Republicans overall have favored less stringent policies.” (19)

Pew Research could also back up such ideals in 2021 (20). January 2024. Consider this article in Science, about people dumping fake papers by “bribing editors and planting their own agents on editorial boards to ensure publication of their manuscripts.” An investigation by Science and Retraction Watch, in partnership with Wise and other industry experts, identified several paper mills and more than 30 editors of reputable journals who appear to be involved in this type of activity.” (21)

The point of writing this is to give the back history to the GOP, and their roots in our American history. I am glad a group of people came together and upheld the Spirit of the Constitution, although, the Founders themselves had slaves, as did characters in the Bible. We are encouraged by Jesus Christ, when He said, I came to “set the captives free” this does not happen overnight. Yet, abiding in His words the GOP reality is that in our hearts we began with the correct position. And we continue this GRAND plan to fight for freedom. We should not be afraid of these difficult discussions. The GOP should embrace and learn from them. I think Stephen Douglas would be a Republican today. As much as possible, he wanted the Union to grow and stay together. Nevertheless, how does this look? Do we compromise and give up territory, and bodily autonomy each time a crisis emerges? We better be careful as stated in the article.

Clearly, some people are not above bribing and putting others in power over our Union and implementing unethical mandates and laws that will make us wake up one day and realize THE GRAND OLD PARTY IS NOW A HELLHOLE. 



















119.Note from the Convention of Delegates “ are opposed to … the extension of Slavery into Free Territory … With our Republican fathers, we hold it to be a self-evident truth, that all men are endowed with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that the primary object and ulterior design of our Federal Government were to secure these rights to all persons.” Gary B. Nash, Gary B., Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America (Viking, 2005) ISBN 978-0-14-303720-0 (describing how the Revolution laid the groundwork for an expanding definition of who were deemed part of “the people.”)




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